It’s not uncommon to see a supercar like a limited edition Ferrari Enzo, Lamborghinis, Porsches, Bentleys, Nissan Skylines, and even a Honda NSX just lying around airports and car parks left to decay across the United Arab Emirates every year.
Most large cities have to face problems like unemployment, crime, and housing issues but Dubai has to tackle the problem of a surplus of luxury cars, it has become an epidemic that has made international headlines across the world.
According to Gulf News, 2,000 to 3,000 cars are abandoned in Dubai every year. They are simply discarded and left by their owners to gather dust in the desert heat. Now coming to the question of why these hypercars are abandoned in the desert?
This has to do with Dubai’s economic demography. Over 90% of Dubai’s residents are foreign-born expatriates or ex-pats (citizens living/working in a country other than their country of citizenship) living in Dubai, meaning they have to follow the laws of Dubai too.
Photos of Dubai’s abandoned cars come up fairly frequently and anyone would find it weird that people would just leave their six-figure worth cars to just be worn away.
Pictures including that of a £1 million Enzo, sparked fury on social media after the condition of the car was revealed. People just assumed that the hyper-wealthy citizens of Dubai were so rich and so numb to the things they own that they just leave costly cars when they’re bored and get another one.
But the real reason why these luxury cars end up abandoned is due to Dubai’s struggle to keep up with the effects of the global financial crisis, and the high oil prices.
Many cars belong to ex-pats, mostly British, who travel to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in hopes of high-flying jobs. Once they begin to earn, they end up buying a lot of stuff, luxury cars being top of their list. And then also began to struggle to keep up with the living cost.
Dubai has a legal system that is based on Sharia Law, under which non-payment of any debt is a criminal offense, UAE has no bankruptcy laws that means there is no protection for those who fail to meet their car repayments, pay off their credit card bills or default on their mortgage, they go straight to prison without an ounce of mercy.
The ex-pats take loans to buy these supercars as loans are easily available but often end up in debt—unable to return the loans due to high turnover rates in many jobs in Dubai.
As a result, ex-pats decide that fleeing the country is a better option than staying and risking jail time. They are forced to abandon their lives and their cars, sometimes with the key still in the ignition, they flee for their home state.
There are other options available but fleeing is a pretty popular one. This is not the case with just the ex-pats, even locals too, sucked in by Dubai’s richer-than-rich attitude, end up leaving their cars behind and set out on a run.
Sharia-influenced debt offenses have set up Interpol that circulates red alerts to capture indebted Europeans before they flee the UAE.
In the last five to six years luxury cars including Ferraris, Koenigseggs, and pricey BMWs have all been abandoned as their owners flee bankruptcy brought on by financial crises. Abandoned cars are moved and impounded if they obstruct roads and cause safety issues, other than that cars are just left like that for years before they are recovered.
This also means one cannot buy these cars as they ideally belong to the bank, they were brought on loan, so they usually end up as cruisers for the police.
The only good thing out of this is that car lovers can come and pick up some phenomenal machine parts of luxury cars at low prices that have been impounded by the police. The owners usually have 15 days to claim their cars back before they become state property and they can be auctioned off.
Image Sources: Google Images
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